OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 28 February 2005, (previews 22 February), Sir Peter Hall’s production of The Dresser transfers to the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre (See News, 30 Dec 2004 Nicholas Lyndhurst (TV’s Only Fools & Horses) and Julian Glover (King Lear, Henry V) star in the revival of Ronald Harwood’s modern backstage classic, written in 1980 and set during the Second World War, which comes to London following a regional tour. It’s limited season is currently booking until 14 May 2005.
ALSO TONIGHT, 28 February 2005, (previews 24 February), the second of up-and-coming playwright Laura Wade’s world premieres this month, Breathing Corpses, opens at the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs (See News, 14 Jan 2005). Amy's found another body in a hotel bedroom, there's a funny smell coming from one of Jim's storage units and Kate's losing it after spending all day with the police. The high-profile cast features James McAvoy (Privates on Parade, TV’s Shameless), Tamzin Outhwaite (Flesh Wound at the Court, EastEnders) and Niamh Cusack (His Dark Materials). The production is directed by Anna Mackmin and continues at the Royal Court Theatre until 26 March 2005. Breathing Corpses follows Wade’s Colder Than Here, which opened at Soho Theatre at the beginning of February (See Laura Wade, 20 Questions, 21 Feb 2004).
OPENING WEDNESDAY, 2 March 2005, (previews 26 February 2005) at west London's Riverside Studios is Torben Bett’s new play The Lunatic Queen. At the turn of the 16th century, the two most powerful people on the planet, Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon, plan to expand their empire by marrying their daughters to various European princes. One daughter, Juana, is full of religion and passion. The only problem is she's mad. Although set in the Spanish Golden Age, The Lunatic Queen is billed as a “brutal contemporary satire”. Starring Siobhan Redmond (US and Them, Perfect Days) and directed by Tim Stark, it continues until 27 March 2005.
OPENING THURSDAY, 3 March 2005, (previews 1 March 2005) the Off-Broadway musical revue I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is revived at the Jermyn Street Theatre for a limited season to 26 March. The musical, which is now in its tenth year in New York, explores the modern dating merry-go-round with four performers playing over 60 roles between them, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change has a book and lyrics by Joe Dipietro and music by Jimmy Roberts. The Jermyn Street production – which stars John Payton, Lucy Hunter-James, Mark Hilton and Jo Cook and is directed by Phil Wilmott – has been tailored for UK audiences. In 1999, the unaltered musical had a run at the West End’s Comedy Theatre.
- by Hannah Kennedy